UCLA’s Dean Of Continuing Education And Extension Smutz To Serve As UPCEA President-Elect

April 9, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA – UPCEA, the Washington, D.C.-based association for university leaders in professional, continuing, and online education, welcomed Wayne Smutz as the association’s 2016-17 President-Elect during the 101st UPCEA Annual Conference. Smutz is Dean of Continuing Education and Extension at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Smutz deeply believes that continuing and online education organizations need to be socially relevant while serving their own colleges and universities. As President-Elect, Smutz’s priorities flow from this belief and include a focus on two key issues. First, continuing and online education are at the focal point of the learning revolution sweeping America and the world. UPCEA institutions need to find ways to use educational innovations to help those whom traditional higher education has failed to help. Second, UPCEA needs to exercise its potential power by speaking with one voice for its collective institutions.

“I passionately believe that continuing and distance education are access points to help people who need second or third chances at education, or who never had a chance,” said Smutz. “In the context of the growing income inequality in our country, our ability to give students access to higher education and to help them be successful as students has become absolutely critical.”

As Dean of Continuing Education and Extension at UCLA, Smutz leads the academic, financial, and operational efforts of this self-supporting enterprise, which delivers programs via face-to-face, online, and hybrid methodologies. With more than 95,000 enrollments annually generated by nearly 50,000 unique individuals, UCLA Extension serves the professional-development, career, and personal-enrichment needs of working professionals in Los Angeles, the United States, and internationally. Prior to joining UCLA in 2013, Smutz spent more than 30 years at Penn State Outreach in a variety of roles, most recently as Executive Director of the World Campus.

UCLA Extension is the continuing education division of the University of California, Los Angeles. Courses range from business, arts, engineering, and IT to entertainment studies, public policy, public health, the humanities, and more. Each year, nearly 2,000 UCLA Extension students graduate from more than 170 certificate programs.

“Wayne has been a valued UPCEA leader for many years,” said UPCEA CEO Bob Hansen. “He brings deep experience in running large, high-quality online enterprises, which is timely for an association committed to the transformative power of online learning, as is his focus on the access mission of the association and our field.”

Smutz earned his Ph.D. in higher education and an M.A. in political science from Penn State. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

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UPCEA is the association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves more of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. With innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications, we support our members’ service of contemporary learners and commitment to quality online education and student success. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA builds greater awareness of the vital link between adult learners and public policy issues. Visit to learn more. 


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